Can you drink coffee while pregnant?
Generally, it is allowed to drink coffee during your pregnancy, however, there are limitations. Drinking large amounts of coffee or other caffeinated drinks can increase the chance of miscarriage, especially during the first 3 months.
In most of the studies, having more than recommended daily intake of coffee (under 300 mg), the excess has proven harmful, sometimes doubling the chances for miscarriage. However, another large study found no connection with any pregnancy complications, if the daily dosage of coffee was under 300 mg in caffeine.
How much is safe to drink?
Drinking excess coffee can contribute to many problems, including lower birth weight. That’s why a lot of practitioners advise women to have less than 200mg in caffeine a day. That is about 10-12 ounces (around 3 deciliters) of light brewed coffee or 5-12 ounces of soda. If we transfer that into size, it’s a larger cup of light coffee, which you can divide into two or three portions.
Follow your body needs
The symptoms during your pregnancy will show you if your body is pleased with coffee or not. If coffee during pregnancy gives you anxiety, shakiness or high blood pressure, those are the indicators that you should probably minimize or quit coffee for the time being. If you feel good drinking coffee and you have no problems or negative side effects, enjoy your cup, just make sure its under 200-300 mg of caffeine a day (depending on how you feel).
According to several testimonies of pregnant women, some of them despite their love for coffee did not fell any need to have coffee, or it even made them sick in their first 3 months. The best you can do is listen to your body and stay under the recommended intake.
Different types of coffee
Keep in mind that different types of coffee might have very different amounts of caffeine. Bar brewed coffee or cold coffee beverages from the supermarket can have larger amounts of caffeine. If you want to fully control your caffeine intake, it’s better to make coffee yourself. It’s good also to make less and mix it with milk or cream, to minimize that daily caffeine intake. Stay away from energy drinks and other potentially dangerous beverages.
Chicories and liquorice coffee substitutes might be healthy for you if you are not pregnant, but you should avoid them in your pregnancy. As they can prove dangerous in large amounts too.
Replacing your coffee with tea is a good idea. If you still want your daily boost in caffeine you can enjoy black tea (keep it under the limit in caffeine), or other herbal teas like green tea, peppermint leaf, lemon balm and some other herbal teas.
Most health experts and birth practitioners agree that it’s safe to have coffee if you stay under 200 mg of caffeine a day.
In cups, that is 1-2 cups of coffee (250-500 ml) or 2-4 cups of teas with caffeine (black tea, yerba mate..).
Make sure you drink enough water during your pregnancy, milk and freshly squeezed juices are a good option too.